The Alzheimer’s Slush File

Is there a file somewhere that holds all the things Alzheimer’s patients lose? Sometimes those items are imagined, but even so – the person struggling with Alzheimer’s is convinced the object exists yet has simply disappeared. Where did it go?Alz Slush File

My mother has lost a seersucker pantsuit. As far as I know, she never bought a seersucker pantsuit although she always wanted one. However, this suit is so real to her, it must exist somewhere in the universe, if not hanging in her closet. Perhaps she did buy one, at some point in life, but now – it has disappeared. Where did it go? Does it wait in an imaginary file that is hidden from the world of realism?

We no longer take jewelry to the assisted living facility where my mother lives, because it will disappear. Then Mom will accuse someone of stealing it. And truthfully, when Mom loses something, it cannot be found.

Jewelry has disappeared as well as the infamous seersucker pantsuit. How do you lose a pantsuit? Seersucker or any other variety? This puzzles me.

We dare not take Mom’s hearing aids to her room, because lost hearing aids cost a bundle to replace. So my sister has become the Guardian of the Hearing Aids, producing them only when Mom goes to church or joins us for a family outing. The rest of the time, Mom just doesn’t hear well. She turns up the volume on her TV and when someone talks to her, she asks, “How’s that?” “What?” “Huh?”

Mom has lost socks – but then, who hasn’t lost a sock. They are constantly running away from home or disappearing into dryer vents or someplace where nobody can find them.

Mom has also lost other clothing and important documents. We know better than to leave any legal papers with Mom. Her collection of greeting cards that people send her sit in a basket, waiting for her to reread them. So far, she has not lost the basket.

Because Mom is always giving things away, she sometimes thinks she has lost something when she actually gave it away. She often wins at Bingo, so then she has Snickers candy bars and doesn’t eat them. She gives them to grandkids, then doesn’t remember giving them away – so they are then lost and hiding in the Alzheimer’s Slush File.

It doesn’t really matter, I suppose, if Mom loses some things – as long as they aren’t major items like hearing aids. The problem is that the disappearance of items causes Mom additional stress and we don’t need that.

The other problem is that I’ve wondered lately what has happened to one of my favorite rings. I have no recollection of taking it off and putting it somewhere other than where it belongs. I have looked in every suitcase, every jewelry container and every dresser drawer. My ring has disappeared. It only cost me five dollars, but I liked it because it sparkled and matched lots of different outfits.

I have, of course, prayed, “Oh God, oh God, I have lost my ring. Please, please, please don’t let me have Alzheimer’s. Please let me find my ring.”

He has not answered. I think my ring might be hiding with the seersucker pantsuit.

©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo                                                         Finding Hope When Life Unravels

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